At the beginning of November, a friend of mine convinced me to sign up for a trial session of five skating lessons for adults. The last time I was on skates was several years ago, during a staff-student hockey game, when I fell on the only non-padded, unprotected body part I could have — my tailbone.
It happened in slow motion: first the left foot slipping out from under me, and then my right blade losing its stability; the look on my colleague’s face as he turned, watching helplessly, while gravity did its thing . . . I knew I was going to hit before I started to fall.
So getting back on the ice has been a real test for me. I took lessons when I was little, but I don’t remember learning how to stop on the ice, and if I had learned it, I forgot. I never remember having been able to stop in more than two unskilled ways: drifting gracefully into (read: hitting at speed) the boards, or gliding until the laws of brought me to a halt. That’s usually when I would fall, actually. And there’s a lot of me to smack down, too.
But I haven’t fallen yet. That’s something I can feel good about.
(Example: one of the earlier lessons, on November 4.)
There was a long gap in time between age twelve, the last time I skated as a kid, and getting a pair of inexpensive hockey skates when my kids were younger so I could move around on the ice with them. But some of what I used to know is definitely coming back, and more — I’m learning.
I can stop, now.
I can two-foot scully forward and back, plus skating backward confidently (most of the time).
I can glide on one foot, and today, I even did a one-footed spin — twice!
My strokes are improving, as is my posture, and today, I was able to do crossovers. Crossovers! While moving!
I am so grateful to my friend for getting me to do this. I’ve been finding myself looking forward to my twice-weekly lessons, and even though the first twenty minutes were painful (shin splints! Foot cramps!) and I have been feeling it afterward with shaky muscles, I’ve also felt the endorphins. Skating is helping with my depression.
Just kind of stinks that I’m the only one in the class, now.
But it also feels good to be doing something new, for me, and for my kids.